Maples rising through the pack

About a month ago, the Maples Packers looked on course for another lackluster season.

An 0-2 start in the Digicel Summer League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, had them near the bottom of the standings. Now, Maples are on a roll at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay, winning four straight contests.

Leading the crew is Will Peguero Jr, who serves as one of the team captains. He states the winning streak is expected.

“It’s not a surprise, the work we’re putting in is obviously producing wins,” Peguero Jr said. “We are where we hoped and planned to be; in a position to make the playoffs. That was our first goal.”

The latest victory came last Saturday in a nail-biting 20-18 victory over the Club House Bulldogs. Rookie of the Year contender Barrett Edri propelled Maples from the pocket, connecting often with veteran wide receiver Rupert Whittaker.

Club House were guided by talented quarterback Chris Spigner, who burned the Packers on deep throws to Jyoti Choi and Jon Pump. Chris Smith made some admirable runs out of the backfield.

Late drama decided the match, with Peguero Jr making big plays on defence. The Packers, 4-2, will now look to cement their second place rank in the seven-team league this Saturday, 4 August, at Ed Bush against the Cox Colts at 1.30pm.

Cox, the 2011 finalist, are currently fourth at 3-3 and are coming off a disappointing 14-8 loss to the Burger King Panthers. Burger King, now third at 4-2, did their damage in the second half. Chris Lucas, Jonathan Carter and Brendon Malice led the Panthers offence. QB Kevin Solomon was ineffective for the Colts, whose best option was hand-offs to running backs Chester Hurlston and Brad Conolly.

Peguero Jr states Saturday’s encounter with Cox is personal.

“It was definitely marked on the calendar, given our first loss of the season came to them. Being essentially a new team, we were trying to find chemistry. I feel confident we can give them more of a game and be more of a challenge.”

Saturday’s other encounters pit the dms Hellcats, first place at 5-1, against the 0-6 PWC Renegades at 2.45pm with 3-3 Club House facing Burger King at 4pm.

For the record, last Saturday’s other match was a 15-6 win for the Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes over Brandon Ure and the Renegades. The Hurricanes, 2-4, were guided by Glenn Duran Jr, Neville Morgan and Junior McField.